On 15-16 May 2019, the 5th Steering Committee Meeting of the project CONNECT2CE led by the CEI-Executive Secretariat was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Project partners mainly gathered to evaluate and discuss the concluded and ongoing project activities, as well as to elaborate on upcoming events.
Darja Kocjan, director of the Slovenian Railways-Passenger Transport, welcomed participants highlighting the added value of transnational cooperation in the field of transport within the CONNECT2CE project. Winfried Ritt, representative of the Joint Secretariat of Interreg Central Europe Programme, provided relevant inputs for the mid-term review of the project.
During their gathering, partners presented the state-of-the-art of the project, focusing on the progress of 8 ongoing pilot actions that aim at improving peripheral and cross-border passenger transport in Central Europe within three macro-topics, namely connectivity; integrated ticketing and tariff schemes; and ICT/ITS tools.
In particular, partners discussed already launched actions, such as: the extension of the Austrian-Italian cross-border passenger railway connection - MICOTRA train - to Trieste in June 2018; the new integrated multimodal ticket between the cities of Trieste and Ljubljana in March 2019; the timetable harmonisation of bus and train services and the development of multimodal and multilingual information system on the connecting GYSEV regional trains in Austrian-Hungarian border area.
Other on-going pilot actions regarded the implementation of a financial model of Public Service Obligation contract for cross-border trains between Croatia and Slovenia, aimed at offering a better service to final users and enhancing connections between peripheral areas and main nodes and; the introduction of two new transboundary bus services connecting Graz with three Austrian and Hungarian nodes located in the southern area around the border.
The partners also presented the work on a tourist-oriented connection Berlin-Baltic Sea and on strengthening the cross-border regional network between Germany and Poland through a study on modern railcars with innovative engines; as for the peripheral area of the Czech region of Plzen, an info-mobility tool will be introduced to inform customers about available fares and prices.
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